Based on the 12 Chinese listed developers that have responded to our survey on December sales expectation, we expect a mixed performance among developers.
This is in line with our expectation that those developers that have already completed their sales targets by November are slowing down their sales pace while those developers still behind their targets are pushing for stronger month-on-month sales performance in December to catch up with peers.
Nevertheless, for those who have slowed down their sales in December, we expect the strong sales momentum to resume in January of 2014. All developers we surveyed are confident of completing their 2013 sales targets.
Developers completed 96 percent of 2013 contracted sales target by end-November. On average, the 31 Chinese major developers that we monitor have already locked in 96 percent of their 2013 contracted sales target by end-November (or 98 percent of the original target as a handful of developers revised their targets upward during the year), having registered very strong sales performance in November. Sales jumped 7 percent month-on-month and 65 percent year-on-year.
As the central government has repeatedly emphasized, end-user demand will be supported but discretionary/investment/speculative demand will be suppressed. On our analysis, developers with a high focus on end-user demand in 2013 have faster sales, and higher sales target hit rates year-to-date.
Conversely, developers that focus more on high-end, high price properties have slower sales and a lower target hit rate. In particular, developers including Vanke, Country Garden, and Shimao all achieved above-average contracted sales target hit-rates by end-November. On the other hand, high-end, high-price focused developers like Sunac, Hopson, Agile had slower-than-average sales target hit rates over the period. We expect a similar pattern to continue in 2014.
Overall, we expect the following policy environment for the Chinese property market in 2014: 1) a market-oriented focus on increasing supply — local governments will continue to increase land supply to increase home supply, which in turn should slow down home price growth; 2) central government’s required home purchase restrictions and mortgage restrictions should remain unchanged; 3) local governments to introduce additional tightening measures when property prices in their cities are rising faster than GDP or disposable income, otherwise property policies should be stable.
Thus, transparency of when to expect new tightening measures is now much better. The latest top Party meeting signaled no new central government tightening, while the proposed reform should provide long-term benefits for the sector.